Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alabama nursing homes have jumped in recent days, and delays in getting test kits and test results is putting lives at greater risk, according to the Alabama Nursing Home Association.
As of Monday, 31 nursing homes in 17 counties had confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to a statement from Alabama Nursing Home Association President Brandon Farmer.
The last update from ANHA on March 28 noted eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in six nursing homes across the state.
John Matson, director of communications at ANHA, told APR in a message Monday that the organization was uncertain how many individual COVID-19 cases were currently in the 31 homes.
“These reports involve residents, staff members or both at nursing homes in rural and urban locations. These nursing homes are following the reporting guidelines and implementing isolation procedures,” Farmer said in the statement. “I predict the number of nursing homes with cases will grow as more tests are administered and the results are returned. As previously stated, the delays in receiving test kits and test results are beyond our control yet places our residents and employees at great risk.”
State nursing homes have stopped visitations and early on began screening staff for symptoms of the virus and strengthening infection control measures, Farmer noted in the statement.
“They continue to practice infection control guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and isolate residents who test positive or are believed to have been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive. Like other health care providers, nursing homes need a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). Infection control measures will only be as effective as our ability to secure PPE,” Farmer said.